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The Gold Rush

About the The Gold Rush Lesson

This lesson introduces students to the Gold Rush.

• To be able to explain how the Gold Rush began.

• To be able to name some of the important people involved in the Gold Rush.

Suggested Grades
2nd Grade
3rd Grade
4th Grade

John Sutter was a Swiss immigrant who settled in California in 1839. His goal was to build his own private empire. In 1847, Sutter sent about twenty men to build a sawmill. One of these men was James Marshall. On January 24th, 1848, James Marshall found gold while working to build the sawmill.

Marshall and the other men continued working on the sawmill, but they kept finding more and more gold. Marshall took samples of the gold back to Sutter?s Fort. Marshall and Sutter were both unhappy about the discovery of gold. Sutter was trying to build his own agricultural fiefdom and did not want competition. Marshall was trying to build a sawmill and didn?t want gold hunters to get in the way. As a result, Marshall and Sutter decided to keep the discovery a secret.




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